World Bulletin/News Desk
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are paying salaries to rebel forces fighting in the Syrian revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, an Arab diplomat said on Saturday.
"The payment has been going on for months and the agreement was made on April 2 by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with logistical organisation from Turkey where some Free Syrian Army factions are based," said the source, who requested anonymity.
"The point of this is to encourage as many factions of the Syrian army to defect and to organize the FSA, control it and prevent any extremist organizations from joining it."
A spokesman for Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said on Saturday he was not aware of reports that the kingdom was funding Syrian rebels.
The United Nations says more than 10,000 people have been killed since violence broke out after Syrian government forces began a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters over a year ago.
Syria says at least 2,600 members of its military and security forces have been killed by what it calls foreign-backed "Islamist terrorists".
Western and Arab states, meeting on April 1, called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to adopt a peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan, withdraw his troops from Syrian cities and allow access for humanitarian aid.
They made no mention of arming the FSA but said they would "continue to work on additional appropriate measures with a view to the protection of the Syrian people".
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her government was supplying "communications equipment that will help activists organize, evade attacks by the regime and connect to the outside world" and was "discussing with other nations how best to expand this support".
Foreign Ministry urges Israel not to change status quo of Al-Aqsa complex so it is accessible to all Muslims
President of the World Association of Muslim Scholars Yusuf al-Qaradavi stated that Jerusalem deals with not only the Palestinians but the entire Islamic ummah.
At least 5 Hezbollah, 17 opposition fighters reported killed
Israel criticized for ‘disproportionate’ force against Palestinians
12 militants’ vehicles destroyed, including four rigged with bombs
Israeli settlers killed in alleged stabbing attack in occupied West Bank, amid backdrop of Al-Aqsa turmoil
Qatari emir thanks Turkey for its support during crisis, says the plot against his country was pre-planned
Security measures by Israel trigger protests, with 3 Palestinians killed and nearly 400 injured
Sergey Lavrov says 'main parameters' on southern zone already agreed
UN spokesman says 1,140 children have been killed since 2015
The attack on Tuesday in the Mawza district of the southwestern province of Taez killed at least 20 people, including four children, according to residents.
Ayman Safadi urges international community to help ease tense situation
Kuwait also ordered the closure of the Iranian "military, cultural and trade" missions, said the government official, who asked not to be named.
Viral videos show Saudi prince physically and verbally assaulting at least 4 residents in capital Riyadh
Last week, Iraq formally declared victory over ISIL in Mosul